Twitter to Open Pre-Roll Video Ad Program to Influencers

Revenue Program Could Draw More Talent to Platform

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Twitter video ads appearing ahead of video on Business Insider's feed.
Twitter video ads appearing ahead of video on Business Insider's feed. Credit: Twitter

Twitter is on a pre-roll.

The service is opening its pre-roll video ad program to popular Twitter users, giving them a way to make money for their efforts.

The ads play before the videos that people share on the platform, and they come with a skip button, much like the one on YouTube. Twitter has been showing similar pre-roll video ads ever since it launched a program with top publishers and media companies in 2013.

For instance, the National Basketball Association posts game highlights, but before the videos begin sponsors get to show a message.

Twitter has since automated that delivery of the video ads to appear before most professional media content on the platform. Advertisers can set campaigns to run in certain categories of videos.

The expansion of the program brings the video ads to Twitter "influencers" -- people with millions of followers, who typically share the same kind of videos they might put on YouTube or Facebook.

All platforms are trying to come up with ways to help these types of social media entertainers make money from their work. YouTube has pre-roll video ads, but Facebook has been opposed to them, claiming they ruin the user experience.

Last year, Twitter bought an influencer network called Niche with 35,000 "creators," who can work with brands on sponsorships.

Twitter gives a portion of video ad revenue to the publishers and creators.

Top media executives have said that while Twitter does not have the scale of Facebook, with only 313 million monthly users, its video program is starting to pay off.

One media exec said that revenue from Twitter was "pretty healthy."

The ads run everywhere from National Football League tweets to Business Insider videos to NBC's Olympics content.

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